The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    overhead lockout strength

    Lockout is my issue with anything regarding pressing. My triceps just don't want to get stronger. I blast them with close grips, floor presses, skulls, etc.. They're coming around, but it's ridiculously slow.

    To the point. My overhead tricep strength is even worse than in front of me. Outside of overhead extensions and overhead pin presses, what are some exercises that could be done to bring this up? What kind of rep range?
    Jake Sullivan
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    Almost every guy that gets into a gym, doesn’t give enough work to the triceps.
    The triceps can take a huge amount of load and reps of work.

    You need to work around your triceps with floor presses short grip, JM, extensions flat/inclined/declined (to the forehead, nose, chin, throat, etc.), rolling extensions, Tate, floor extensions with EZ bar, etc..
    There’s a wide array of exercises you need to put your triceps to work with. Increase the frequency and drop some restoration sets the days off the gym (3x30 band extensions).

    Good luck!

  4. #3
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Try throwing in some high board pressing and pin presses with bands.

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  5. #4
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    You said the strength was coming around, just slowly. Just because you want it to come faster doesn't mean it will. Your expectations might be too high.

    I disagree with what was said above with regards to a whole bunch of different exercises for triceps. I do agree that there are a lot out there. If you just throw everything at the wall, you don't know what is actually working. I think you should use the "Desert Island" idea. If you were stuck on a desert island and you could ONLY DO 1 EXERCISE for your triceps, what would you choose?

    Now, your goal is to increase your overhead lockout strength. What exercise would you choose? I know what I would do.

    Sorry, gonna make you think on this one.

  6. #5
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    You said the strength was coming around, just slowly. Just because you want it to come faster doesn't mean it will. Your expectations might be too high.

    I disagree with what was said above with regards to a whole bunch of different exercises for triceps. I do agree that there are a lot out there. If you just throw everything at the wall, you don't know what is actually working. I think you should use the "Desert Island" idea. If you were stuck on a desert island and you could ONLY DO 1 EXERCISE for your triceps, what would you choose?

    Now, your goal is to increase your overhead lockout strength. What exercise would you choose? I know what I would do.

    Sorry, gonna make you think on this one.
    +1 to this
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  7. #6
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    You said the strength was coming around, just slowly. Just because you want it to come faster doesn't mean it will. Your expectations might be too high.

    I disagree with what was said above with regards to a whole bunch of different exercises for triceps. I do agree that there are a lot out there. If you just throw everything at the wall, you don't know what is actually working. I think you should use the "Desert Island" idea. If you were stuck on a desert island and you could ONLY DO 1 EXERCISE for your triceps, what would you choose?

    Now, your goal is to increase your overhead lockout strength. What exercise would you choose? I know what I would do.

    Sorry, gonna make you think on this one.
    Just because I can't do pin presses with bands, I want to make other people do them.

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  8. #7
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Now, your goal is to increase your overhead lockout strength. What exercise would you choose? I know what I would do.

    Sorry, gonna make you think on this one.
    push presses. less demanding on shoulders, more load on triceps because you can work heavier than with a strict press. Only issue with this is that it comes up twice in a 5 week training block. Once as an RE movement and once as an ME movement. Do you think I should use it as an accessory movement as well?

    what about accessory work? I just added dips back in, going to start working close grip presses against bands as well as weighted dips.

    I recently read an article re: knee pain that revolved around weak glutes. The author advised that many knee issues are a cause of weak hips and the knees end up filling the void. Give me a second, I'm getting to the point. I feel this is a big issue for me because I have very little mind-muscle connection with my glutes while squatting/lunging/etc. He recommended to do 100-300 reps/day of bodyweight glute stuff. Bridges, reverse hyper, kneeling squats, etc. I have been doing this for about a week and a half in addition to stepping up my glute work on leg days and I can already start to feel a difference. The article advised to do this specifically until you can feel the contraction every time it is used. I'm close, but not quite. Is it all psychological? maybe, but hell, if it's reducing knee pain I'll take it and since I stretch/foam roll every night, throwing in some bodyweight glute bridges and reverse hypers ain't no thang.

    The point: I'm not so sure hammering triceps in the same way (as suggested above) would be of the same benefit. There is no mind-muscle issue there because I know and feel exactly when they fire. I think it's just a lagging/weak bodypart that needs to be brought up to speed. With that said, I do think I need more focus on tricep work. I did say that it was "coming around", however, it has been very stagnant for the better part of a year, despite close grip pressing, floor pressing, speed bench w/ bands, etc. Maybe I mis-spoke regarding them "coming around". The last thing I added was dips. I got a way from these for a very long time because of shoulder issues and strength/weight ratio. Now I'm fine and can start hammering them again.

    I do a 3day/wk westside routine. That means I have upper twice w/ lower once on week 1 and lower twice w/upper once on week two. On my ME upper days, I do an ME press, RE press and then back work. I just added in dips last week. On my DE upper days I do speed presses, tricep extensions and then back work. I just added dips in last week and also some sort of assistance press. I am planning on sticking with this for the next 8 weeks ago and reassessing.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks for the help everyone!!
    Jake Sullivan
    6' - 280lbs - 29yrs old - Professional Highland Games Athlete
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  9. #8
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Jake - Do you think that it could have anything to do with a stability issue? Or are you hitting the sticking point and just standing there with the bar fighting it?
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    If you are with a 3 day Westside, then YOU KNOW you need an enormous amount of work for the triceps.
    Doing just one exercise over and over again like someone said before, is not the way to solve the issue here. You’ll just get stuck by the end of week 3. The "desert island" idea, leave it for when you are left over at a desolated island! Xd

    Just check Travis Bell´s Exercise log for example, and look the way he works his triceps. You need to work the extensions and presses as varied as possible.
    Another issue might be technique. Maybe you are focusing your presses to other body parts instead of the triceps.
    Open your grip a little bit (pinkies at shoulder width) and press bringing your elbows really stuck to your body, pointing at your feet.
    Last edited by Niko_El_Piko; 12-08-2011 at 01:51 PM.

  11. #10
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Or are you hitting the sticking point and just standing there with the bar fighting it?
    this for a few seconds then I let it down.

    I'll play around with my close grips to focus on the tris more and I'll take a closer look at Travis' log as well. Makes sense, I saw in his log him doing 225 for skulls, thats insane. I think I might be able to do 115 for 8? I've got some serious work to do with my tris.
    Jake Sullivan
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    curently off-season
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  12. #11
    Senior Member barryisawinnah's Avatar
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    I subbed out regular bench with close grip, and it seems to be helping. Then again, I don't compete in powerlifting and don't really plan on it, so I don't care if my bench tanks. So you might not want to do that.

  13. #12
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Many times we miss a lift and think it's because we're weak at lockout, etc. I think you should video your OHP and re-evaluate your technique. You might not be pressing optimally (like you might be flaring too early, the bar path may not be grooved right, etc.). This may prevent you from pushing through the point at which you fail typically.

    I think more work with the OH is what is needed. I see the same thing with people who fail DL's midway. Many think they have weak glutes or something, but in reality, their technique is just subpar and more straight ahead work is needed.

    That said, the OHP is a monster to get moving sometimes. Perhaps more singles will help, more volume, microloading, I don't know since I don't have the specifics of your training, but be patient with it and start with that before changing all your accessories around it.
    Last edited by BloodandThunder; 12-08-2011 at 07:56 PM.
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  14. #13
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    A few things that have helped my tricep work over the years is moving my grip in on supplemental exercises and additional extensor work. Rolling dumbell tri ext are my favorite. In addition various jm's or lying extensions. Keep the volume high on the extensor work.

    Also, I have always had good overhead strength, but it did not carry over to my bench lockout strength. Locking out over your head v locking out over your body uses different muscle groups.
    Last edited by vdizenzo; 12-09-2011 at 05:43 AM.


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  15. #14
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    Many times we miss a lift and think it's because we're weak at lockout, etc. I think you should video your OHP and re-evaluate your technique. You might not be pressing optimally (like you might be flaring too early, the bar path may not be grooved right, etc.). This may prevent you from pushing through the point at which you fail typically.

    I think more work with the OH is what is needed. I see the same thing with people who fail DL's midway. Many think they have weak glutes or something, but in reality, their technique is just subpar and more straight ahead work is needed.

    That said, the OHP is a monster to get moving sometimes. Perhaps more singles will help, more volume, microloading, I don't know since I don't have the specifics of your training, but be patient with it and start with that before changing all your accessories around it.
    315 push press
    Video


    275 strict press
    Video


    on the push press, my legs carry it all the way to the last 3-4" of the lift. Watch my lockout struggle. Now watch my 275 strict press, as soon as the triceps take over it slows WAY down.

    My push press should be much MUCH higher in relation to my strict press. That's why I think it's a tricep issue.


    thansk for the help everyone, and Vinny, I know what you mean about it using different muscles. My next training block I'm going to focus a lot on overhead lockout on my overhead pressing days. Band work & pin presses especially. Thanks again!
    Jake Sullivan
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    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
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  16. #15
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSully View Post
    315 push press
    Video


    275 strict press
    Video


    on the push press, my legs carry it all the way to the last 3-4" of the lift. Watch my lockout struggle. Now watch my 275 strict press, as soon as the triceps take over it slows WAY down.

    My push press should be much MUCH higher in relation to my strict press. That's why I think it's a tricep issue.


    thansk for the help everyone, and Vinny, I know what you mean about it using different muscles. My next training block I'm going to focus a lot on overhead lockout on my overhead pressing days. Band work & pin presses especially. Thanks again!
    I see what you mean. Try getting video at the side though since on the push press it seems you just need to push back a little more and push the head through at the top. There's something holding you back obviously at the top but it may be fixable with a little technique work still.

    Another suggestion :maybe try standing presses from a pin set up below where your bar speed hits the crapper and work on singles from that.

    And besides what everyone else said to do for tricep strength, you may also want to incorporate extra workouts since you do a 3day routine. 100 band pushdowns, BW dips/CG pushups, light db extensions are a nice quick workout here and there and sled work as well. You'd be surprised at the abuse triceps can handle!
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  17. #16
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Also, I find a lot of my oh stregth comes from my lats/back. If you think about it, an overhead press looks very similar to a reverse pullup.
    Last edited by vdizenzo; 12-09-2011 at 12:31 PM.


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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko_El_Piko View Post
    If you are with a 3 day Westside, then YOU KNOW you need an enormous amount of work for the triceps.
    Doing just one exercise over and over again like someone said before, is not the way to solve the issue here. You’ll just get stuck by the end of week 3. The "desert island" idea, leave it for when you are left over at a desolated island! Xd

    Just check Travis Bell´s Exercise log for example, and look the way he works his triceps. You need to work the extensions and presses as varied as possible.
    Another issue might be technique. Maybe you are focusing your presses to other body parts instead of the triceps.
    Open your grip a little bit (pinkies at shoulder width) and press bringing your elbows really stuck to your body, pointing at your feet.
    If you throw a bunch of exercises at it, you'll never know what works. That's a waste. Learn what works so you have a clue what you're doing.

  19. #18
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    There's no better way to get better/stronger at something than to practice that lift. If you have a QB who needs to learn to throw an out route, the ONLY way to get better at that is to throw thousands of out routes. Do it over and over and over again. Why would you try to get better at something by not doing what you're trying to get better at? To me it's like trying to get better at running a mile by not running at all. Doesn't add up in my world.

    If you want to get better at overhead pressing, then overhead press. I know Vincent will say otherwise with his ridiculous pressing ability, but he's the exception, not the rule. If he practiced to oveerhead press he'd probably be able to press 450lbs.

    As for dips, pay attention to your shoulders. They cause a lot of troible. If you start getting shoulder pain, it's the dips. I used to do them all the time. I still love them, but they're not good for shoulder longevity.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSully View Post
    315 push press
    Video


    275 strict press
    Video


    on the push press, my legs carry it all the way to the last 3-4" of the lift. Watch my lockout struggle. Now watch my 275 strict press, as soon as the triceps take over it slows WAY down.

    My push press should be much MUCH higher in relation to my strict press. That's why I think it's a tricep issue.


    thansk for the help everyone, and Vinny, I know what you mean about it using different muscles. My next training block I'm going to focus a lot on overhead lockout on my overhead pressing days. Band work & pin presses especially. Thanks again!
    Sully,

    I think you should review your PP technique. You go down, and seems like you push with your legs and THEN you press.
    Try going down and in a sort of rebound, push your legs hard and press AT THE SAME TIME, and tuck your head under the bar.

    Watch this:

  21. #20
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    There's no better way to get better/stronger at something than to practice that lift. If you have a QB who needs to learn to throw an out route, the ONLY way to get better at that is to throw thousands of out routes. Do it over and over and over again. Why would you try to get better at something by not doing what you're trying to get better at? To me it's like trying to get better at running a mile by not running at all. Doesn't add up in my world.

    If you want to get better at overhead pressing, then overhead press. I know Vincent will say otherwise with his ridiculous pressing ability, but he's the exception, not the rule. If he practiced to oveerhead press he'd probably be able to press 450lbs.

    As for dips, pay attention to your shoulders. They cause a lot of troible. If you start getting shoulder pain, it's the dips. I used to do them all the time. I still love them, but they're not good for shoulder longevity.
    I don’t agree with you AT ALL.
    In my world the best way to get stronger at a movement is to train all muscles involved in that movement/kinetic chain and strengthen them individually.
    Regarding the dips, if you go nice and smooth, getting enough deepness (shoulders just bellow elbows) you won’t have any trouble at all.
    I think weighted dips are an extraordinary exercise, and probably is the one that transfers best strength to the presses.

  22. #21
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    You're both right in a sense. You absolutely have to do a particular exercise in order to optimize your neural adaptation to said specific movement pattern if you want to optimize your ability in any given lift. You also need to strengthen the involved musculature and that can be difficult without special exercises as individual anatomy dictates relative weaknesses in all exercises for all individuals (and this can change over time with training). In other words, if your lower back is your weakness in the squat it will never be fully addressed with just squatting.


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  23. #22
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    You're both right in a sense. You absolutely have to do a particular exercise in order to optimize your neural adaptation to said specific movement pattern if you want to optimize your ability in any given lift. You also need to strengthen the involved musculature and that can be difficult without special exercises as individual anatomy dictates relative weaknesses in all exercises for all individuals (and this can change over time with training). In other words, if your lower back is your weakness in the squat it will never be fully addressed with just squatting.
    Agreed. Thks.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko_El_Piko View Post
    I don’t agree with you AT ALL.
    In my world the best way to get stronger at a movement is to train all muscles involved in that movement/kinetic chain and strengthen them individually.
    Regarding the dips, if you go nice and smooth, getting enough deepness (shoulders just bellow elbows) you won’t have any trouble at all.
    I think weighted dips are an extraordinary exercise, and probably is the one that transfers best strength to the presses.
    You have demonstrated that you have no idea what you're talking about. I will disregard any comments from you in the future.

  25. #24
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    There are too many fancy words being thrown around here. When I wanted to get stronger at overhead pressing, I added overhead pressing into my routine. That being said I was benching and doing all my other assistance. I will say this, I didn't really worry too much about programming when I wanted to increase my overhead, I just worked hard.


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  26. #25
    Senior Member Niko_El_Piko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    You have demonstrated that you have no idea what you're talking about. I will disregard any comments from you in the future.
    It´s a pitty you take things personally. By no means I intended to bother you, and is really sad that you show that level of aggression.
    Any how, I believe you lost the angle of the conversation.

    JSully said:
    My overhead tricep strength is even worse than in front of me. Outside of overhead extensions and overhead pin presses, what are some exercises that could be done to bring this up?
    So I listed in my opinion, what kind of exercises que could do in order to increase triceps strength.

    Obviously, as Chris and Vdizenzo said, YOU NEED TO KEEP OH PRESSING A LOT.

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